Citizen’s Climate Lobby

I’ve recently joined as a member of CCL, which drives to push toward a systemic change in order to encourage Congress to find a nonpartisan solution to combat climate change.

Marshall Saunders is a businessman who made his money in real estate and spent twenty years working toward eradicating poverty. Over time, Marshall acknowledged the severity of climate change and had the opportunity to witness it first hand through his work given that climate change is typically the most disastrous to poorer communities, which have fewer resources to protect themselves from the adverse effects of climate change. In response, Saunders created the Climate Change Lobby ten years ago that set out to specifically address climate change. Today, there are 408 chapters word-wide, 342 of which are in U.S with volunteers in almost every congressional district.

What I like about CCL so far is that it allows its users the freedom to choose the areas in which they can be most effective: social media outreach, cold calling, public speaking, direct lobbying, etc. But what I’m even more impressed by is that CCL has a specific, tangible objective in order to shift the market from a climate-negative economy to a climate neutral economy. By lobbying for a fee and dividend system, which would place a tax on energy companies designed to encourage companies to divest from fossil fuel use by financially reflecting their effect on their climate in the tax that they are asked to pay. This tax (which is actually a fee) is reflected in the cost of the products that are sold, which would come out to around $0.20 increase/gallon of gas. However, because this program is revenue neutral, the tax that is asked of energy companies is redistributed among the American people in the form of a monthly dividend. The fee and dividend would increase incrementally each year. In a REMI study performed on CCL’s fee and dividend model, it is projected that in the first year, a family of four would see a monthly dividend of $40 to offset the fossil fuel fee, whereas in year 10, that dividend increased to $288/mo and then $346/mo in year 20.

This model is projected to be so successful that it is expected to reduce fossil fuel emissions to 50% below 1990 levels within twenty years. Job growth from dividends (fee on fossil fuels), which would be divided among the American people in the form of an annual check to off-set the cost of the carbon tax on the market, it projected to be a tremendous boon on the economy by boosting market growth because it gives households spending money that they can put back into the market.

CCL encourages its local chapters to engage through direct lobbying, local media outreach, grassroots initiatives, endorsements, and coalition building. CCL is nonpartisan and encourages senators and representatives to reach across the aisle and effect change by finding obvious common ground: clean water, clean air, and a safer home for future generations.

I am truly excited to start with CCL and I look forward to keeping everyone informed on my progress with the Hampton Roads chapter.

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